Scientists from King’s College London have discovered that drinking blackcurrant extract could potentially lower blood sugar and insulin levels after a meal.
Blackcurrants are highly nutritious berries known for their rich antioxidant content and numerous health benefits.
The Nutritional Powerhouse of Blackcurrants
Blackcurrants are considered a superfood due to their high nutritional value. These tiny berries have a sweet and tart taste and are packed with essential nutrients and antioxidants.
They contain four times the amount of vitamin C found in oranges and double the antioxidant levels of blueberries.
Vitamin C is crucial for protein metabolism and collagen formation, which promotes skin health and fights aging.
Blackcurrants also contain anthocyanins, which have been linked to potential blood sugar regulation benefits.
Understanding Postprandial Hyperglycemia
Postprandial hyperglycemia refers to the spike in blood sugar levels following a meal. In individuals without diabetes, the pancreas secretes insulin to manage the rise in blood glucose.
However, excessive postprandial hyperglycemia can lead to inflammation, oxidative stress, and potentially contribute to artery stiffness and heart disease.
The researchers conducted a study to investigate the effects of blackcurrant extract on blood sugar levels after a meal. They recruited 23 middle-aged men and women for the study.
Participants consumed low-sugar fruit drinks containing varying amounts of blackcurrant extract (150 mg, 300 mg, 600 mg total anthocyanins) or no blackcurrant extract immediately before a high-carbohydrate meal.
Blood sugar, insulin, gut hormone response to food, and arterial stiffness were measured before and after consuming the fruit drinks.
Positive Effects of Blackcurrant Extract
The study revealed that participants who consumed fruit drinks with higher levels of blackcurrant extract experienced a significant decrease in blood sugar levels 30 minutes after consumption.
The insulin levels in their blood were similarly reduced. Furthermore, the levels of gut hormones were significantly decreased two hours after consuming the high-level blackcurrant extract.
These findings suggest that consuming approximately 100 grams of blackcurrants may help lower blood sugar levels, insulin response, and gut hormone levels after meals.
Potential Health Benefits
Including blackcurrants in the diet may offer benefits for heart health and metabolic health. By incorporating blackcurrants or blackcurrant extract into daily nutrition, individuals may support their overall well-being.
One limitation of the study was the absence of measuring blood levels of anthocyanins and their metabolites.
Obtaining these data in future research may provide further insights into the benefits of blackcurrants on vascular function and blood pressure.
Drinking blackcurrant extract shows promise in reducing blood sugar and insulin levels after meals. Blackcurrants’ high anthocyanin content offers potential benefits for heart health and metabolic health.
Further research is needed to explore the impact of blackcurrants on vascular function and blood pressure.
Nonetheless, incorporating blackcurrants into one’s diet can be a tasty and nutritious addition to support overall health.
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